Projected top NFL draft pick Buckner gets advice from Mariota

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With the 2016 National Football League draft just six days away, Punahou graduate DeForest Buckner looked completely harmonious back home in Honolulu Friday morning.

“I can come home and relax with my family and my friends and just wait for that day,” Buckner said.

Weary from travel all over the United States with trips to Dallas, Jacksonville, Nashville, and San Diego in the last few months, the widely projected first-round selection is happy to get the NFL’s dog-and-pony show over with next week.

“The whole weight is nerve-racking and the whole process of traveling and all that kind of deal. I’m glad I’m done with all of the traveling part,” he told KHON2.

His daunting schedule included appearances on the highly popular ESPN show “Sports Science” and the finalizing of a sponsorship with Nike in the last week.

Fellow Swoosh-endorser and former Oregon Duck Marcus Mariota’s advice to “De-Fo” was straight out of the former Heisman Trophy winner’s playbook.

“When I talked to Marcus when he was back in Oregon training, he was just telling me when I go on my visits to be myself,” Buckner said, “also to enjoy the process. Not a lot of guys can go through it and also to stay in shape. Because during this time, I’m traveling all over the place and it kind of alters my workout schedule, so when he saw me working out, he was really happy that I was staying in shape.”

The NFL draft begins with the first round on Thursday, April 28, and runs through Saturday, April 30. KHON2 will provide coverage from Buckner’s draft party on Oahu.

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